Easy Oat Muffins Are Healthful

<i> Freiman is a New York-based food writer</i>

When I first started writing this column in 1982, the food processor was a relatively recent addition to the lineup of appliances found in most kitchens. It was unique, however, because it had virtually spawned a revolution in the way we cooked. It helped to popularize fine cooking.

I hardly know how I will react a month or two from now, when I discover a new recipe or technique and realize that I will not be sharing it with readers. This is my last column as I will soon turn my attention to a new book and I plan to spend more time--temporarily--out of the kitchen, traveling.

During a recent dinner with Willa Gelber, a friend who is a caterer and a physician, we began talking about cholesterol. The topic came up when a good friend from Montreal telephoned to ask me what to eat to help reduce his dangerously high cholesterol count.

Gelber suggested eating oat bran as well as reducing the intake of red meats, saturated fats and shellfish such as shrimp and lobster. When I wrinkled my nose at the mention of oat bran, she gave me the following recipe, which is as delicious as it is healthy.


The muffins are especially convenient to make in the processor, which sifts dry ingredients together in 5 seconds and simultaneously chops the walnuts as it mixes them into the batter.



2 1/4 cups oat bran


1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 egg whites

2 tablespoons oil

1 1/4 cups skim milk

1/4 cup walnuts

1 1/4 cups blueberries


Coat cups of muffin tin with shortening or line with muffin papers. Set tin aside. Insert metal blade in food processor. Add oat bran, brown sugar, baking powder and cinnamon. Process 5 seconds to sift.

Combine egg whites with oil and milk in medium bowl. Add milk mixture to processor container with walnuts. Process with 1/2-second pulses just until batter is mixed and walnuts are chopped. Mixture may look slightly thin.

Remove processor blade and stir in blueberries. Divide batter evenly between muffin cups. Bake on lowest oven rack at 425 degrees 22 minutes.

Cool muffins in tin on wire rack 5 minutes, then remove from pan and cool to room temperature. When cool, store muffins in plastic bag in refrigerator. Makes 1 dozen.